There is no question that Butte County is a seller’s market right now. In June of this year, home sales shot up 84.2% from May. For the month, the median list price of homes in Butte County was $377.5K, trending up 7.9% year-over-year.
Butte County is a great place to live and has always been a competitive market, but there are a couple more reasons for the numbers above. The county still hasn’t completely recovered from the housing crisis created by the Camp Fire a year and half ago. On top of that, the current Covid-19 pandemic, with offices and schools shut down, is causing people from the Bay Area to migrate to more rural areas.
A seller’s market is a great thing if you are looking to sell your house. But, many sellers are also buyers – meaning they are looking to move into a new place. And what about first time buyers? How can they achieve that elusive dream of owning their first home in the current environment?
Here are a few tips about how to close on a home in a seller’s market:
Get pre-approved on your mortgage
Being proactive about applying for a mortgage before you make an offer is one of smartest things you can do to improve your chances of buying the home you want. For one, it shows the seller you are serious and that you are prepared to make a competitive offer. It also eases your own anxiety and allows you to confidently tour houses within your price range.
Don’t get hung up over the inspection
Of course, the inspection is an important step in the home-buying process. However, try to think of your inspection as akin to having a mechanic look at a pre-owned vehicle before you buy it. You’re not expecting perfection, you are simply making sure you are buying what you think you are buying, not trying to get the seller to make every repair possible.
Avoid additional requests
A seller’s market is a time when you must be flexible. When you are facing likely competition, it’s not the time to insist the back deck be refinished or to try to get the washer and dryer included for a lower price. There’s a really good chance there will be another buyer that is willing to offer the asking price with no additional requests. You want to be that offer, not compete with it!
Consider an Earnest Money Deposit
Earnest money is the amount of money buyer’s put down to show they are serious in purchasing a home, also known as good faith money. It can also be a great tactic to use in a seller’s market because it shows the buyer is serious.
Write a Personal Note to the Seller
Many people develop an emotional attachment to their home, and sometimes moving can be difficult for the seller. Show them that you’re both serious and emotionally invested in this sale by writing a personal letter to them. Tell them why you love the place and how you plan to take care of it. The seller may be glad to know their former property is in good hands, giving you some leverage in the situation.
Hire a Great Real Estate Agent
Sure, you can browse listings and learn a lot about houses, neighborhoods and new cities. But in a seller’s’ market the home buying process can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Having a great real estate agent working on your behalf helps when it comes time to make an offer since they know the local markets and will use that knowledge to negotiate effectively on your behalf.
If you have a seasoned agent on your side, you’ll probably have a better chance of getting the home you want.